Alum Spotlight: Courtney Wood

A Career and Academic Planning Success Story

A first job doesn’t come as easily to some as others, so persistence and the use of available tools are often key. Courtney Wood, a 2012 alumna and WRTC major experienced this first hand. Says Wood, “I had relocated from New Jersey to DC in hopes that a pursuit closer to the city would lead to more opportunities. Some days it felt like I was sending my resume into a black hole, though, and it was really easy to get discouraged. I had graduated and moved away from home- landing a job was the last piece of the puzzle, but it didn’t follow quite according to plan. The process wasn’t always fun, but it was worse when I was negative.”

Courtney Wood, Clinical Care Options

After having some difficulty finding a job to fit her skills and interests, Courtney decided to go to Career and Academic Planning in hopes of receiving some guidance. She recalls her decision to approach CAP:
I was struggling in my job search and decided to reach out to the Career and Academic Planning offices to see what they suggest for recent grads and alumni. An adviser thought I should update my Recruit-A-Duke profile with a recent resume and search for jobs through the site. The adviser also sent me a posting from Recruit-A-Duke that she thought matched my resume. One thing led to another and now I’m working for a fellow JMU alum! I owe a lot to the resources at JMU and the ever-growing Duke network for landing my job now.”
Courtney now works for Clinical Care Options (CCO), an organization that provides clinicians with the latest medical information relevant to their field. While she utilized the many resources in CAP to find this job, she attributes her qualifications for and enjoyment of this career to her WRTC major. She says, “I majored in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication which led me to a position handling  web content entry for CCO.  Majoring in WRTC set me up with the basic and essential communicative skills that apply to jobs in practically any field… in this field I was able to find the niche where my skills and interests fit, which I think is the best part of getting a liberal arts education. I wasn’t stuck following one career path and I’ve been able to forge one on my own.”
From her journey to find the perfect career, Courtney has accumulated some useful advice to leave with those who will graduate from JMU in May:
“The advice that has helped me the most was actually unintentionally given by one of my professors in class. She said, ‘You can never waste time, you can only spend time.” The journey doesn’t always go as expected and sometimes you’ll feel like you’re wasting your time.  Later you’ll look back and realize in some way or another, it led you to where you are now. While this quote can apply to just about anything, it’s helpful to remember as a recent grad since the future can be so unpredictable. It has helped me regain perspective again and again along the way.”

For more information about the resources that Career and Academic Planning provides, see our website at

Written by Kelly Gooch


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